Over the last week or so there has been a hope rising among San Antonio Spurs fans. They were hoping one of the franchise's top five players of all-time would get traded.
When the Spurs fell one short by one small forward's terribly bloated contract, there was still a little hope something could happen during the 2011 NBA Draft itself.
But when Spurs fans heard George Hill would go back to actually being "Indiana" George, they had one thing to say, "Why couldn't it have been Tony?"
It's a shocking question to read, but in some ways, I'm not surprised to see that. For a large group of Spurs fans, they only feeling they have for Tony Parker is . . . hate.
One fan texted me, "I'm very angry. Words cannot describe. I really wanted Tony gone."
How could an All-Star point guard who led the Spurs to three NBA Championships and embarrass Cleveland Cavaliers' Daniel "Boobie" Gibson enough to earn a Finals MVP trophy deserve that kind of open hatred?
It's a lot easier to see why fans might feel that way about Parker if you take a closer look.
No matter how many times Tony was able to score 20+ points in a playoff game Spurs fans will always remember that 20-year old kid who needed Speedy Claxton to clean up his messes in the 2003 Finals. Spurs fans will look at current champ Jason Kidd and still say the Spurs front office made the wrong choice at point guard. Even this year it seemed like when the team really needed it - outside of that one OT game against Memphis - Tony was no where to be found.
Even though Spurs fans would like their players to have a streak of confidence, most saw Tony as a little cocky and someone that never truly fit in with the "Spurs way." He dated a starlet, put out French rap albums and was the star of multiple national commercials. Heck, he even has a cartoon airing in France molded around his image. There were also the comments he made to the French media on the Spurs' championship window, the team's aging core and how he was the most tradeable asset.
That's the kind of thing people in the blue-collared Alamo City don't relate to. They're used to the Davy Crockett's, Jim Bowie's, David Robinson's and Tim Duncan's of this world. Parker's ways never rubbed the fans the right way.
More than anything else though, the most damning thing Spurs fans have on Tony is simple . . . he's no Manu Ginobili.
As unfair as it is, Tony can't hold a candle to Manu as far as popularity is concerned. When it's all said and done, Tony will have more points and assists in a Spurs uniform but he will always go down as the third most popular member of the big three.
For whatever reason, fans will always look at Manu as the underdog that overcame the odds. The guy who fights and scraps for every single thing he ever gets on the court. Tony is the guy they feel was handed the starting point guard spot after Avery Johnson left. That he never truly earned it.
Fair or not, Manu is beloved and Tony is tolerated.
At the end of the day, I kind of feel bad for Tony. He might be the linchpin holding together all the Spurs' title hopes for the next decade or so, but he'll never get the love he probably deserves.
Maybe over the next few years Tony can turn it around and be the franchise player fans want him to be.
In the end, Spurs fans can only hope.
If that's the case, name another non-lottery pick guard that we can trade TP for. Even a guy like Rodney Stuckey is a lottery pick talent and he is nowhere near TP's abilities. I say we just let the cards play out and keep TP. Tim Duncan's window is closing and we can't afford to acquire a new guard. Doing so would only disrupt the team's chemistry even more.
TP is benefited by playing with 2 future HOFers, he is a non-factor in clutch time, he goes nowhere if Manu and Timmy are not here. Fans with knowledge don't like him for certain reasons, others just don't see that.
MOst of the people here are asking too much for a guy who was drafted last in the first round and a guy who was a relative unknown at that time. Carry the team? Make his teammates look good? Come on, gather up your senses, He's no Chris Paul nor Deron Wiliams. You guys are are referring to lottery pick talents. Parker is not that. Parker already outdid himself as a Spur, you guys should be thankful.
TP > Hill, when talking about point guard abilities. I saw way too much sloppiness in Hill for him to be our starting point guard. I feel like I'm the only Spurs fan that was upset that we were trying to trade Parker. I didn't want Hill to go either, but I'm sure there is something that the front office knows or sees that we don't. And time to truly develop Splitter into a starter.
TP, thanks for helping us win three championships. I appreciate it :-)
Wrong! These are not the points. Real fans watch the game a lot see that he is not a team player even if he is one of our "Big 3." He has poor court-vision especially for a point guard; he is a defensive liability, and when Bruce retired, it's became even obvious. His passes are usually the ones he "forced to" make, that means bad timing for our shooters. The most important thing is that he can't make players around him better, so even he was selected as an all-star, final-MVP etc. that doesn't change the fact he is not even close to the level Manu and TD obtained. Yes he can get to the paint a lot and score, shoot jump shots occasionally, however, that's probably all the things he can do. He provides some, but never contribute on "key plays," he never is and never will be the option you want for taking the finally shots or making the final stop. He can give you pretty numbers, but that's probably all it is.
Because Tony needs to be the one who carries the team during the playoffs (especially since he's been Finals MVP) and he doesn't. Tim and Manu are too old and can't be the ones who have to carry them all the time. I do agree somewhat with what Tony said but I don't think he should've said all that he did. What kind of encouragement is that? If he believes all this then why even try? What's the point of playing and believing in themselves? Manu might as well just enjoy ending his career with his Argentina team and might as well not waste his energy with the Spurs since "they have no chance".
he's still with the team and expect the front office to retain him. We can't afford another season without chemistry on the back court now that George Hill is gone. Losing Tony now with Indiana George traded is like saying goodbye to another title next season. Tony and Manu show will continue no matter how fans hate the Frenchman.
Parker is the closest player we had to being an anti-Spur since Stephen Jackson. Regardless fans need to remember what he has done for the SAS. He also isn't the 1st NBA player to have so-so seasons
Ive meet tony hes a real nice guy he lets you approach him and plus he still young and great great player if were not getting nothing good back why trade him were paying him what hes worth and i liked thrill hill but wasnt a true pg but good defender although still skeptic about Joseph although if he played for Texas and as a starter he should be decent 4 us@JeffProjectSpurs
I personally never hated Tony, i loved hill but he was never a true point guard. I watched some youtube of Leonard and was pleasantly surprised...
This whole thing about Tony Parker is ridiculous I mean seriously Spurs fans the guy has a few bad games in the playoffs a couple of bad choices through out his career and now he is hated that has to be the dumbest thing I ever heard of.Just a few years ago he was the best Spur ever MVP of the finals "07" starting to come around and be the point guard everybody wanted him to be,but now things aren't in his favor he get's no love sound like to me that there are a lot of FAIR WEATHER SPURS FANS out there.Some people take this being a fan thing to seriously TP doesn't owe any Spurs fan a thing his job is to play basketball to his best ability through out a player's career your going to have bad games for a stretch or too or even a season Tim Duncan and Emanuel Ginobili have had bad games and some what off seasons I don't see anyone jumping down there throat.What people need to realize is that Tony Parker is a human being first basketball player second and who really cares what he does in his private life if it's a divorce or a cartoon so what that's his business, what he does isn't not going to effect anyone's life as long as he gives his all on the court that's all that matters. Bottom line if this is your team your players you roll with them to the end period I've been a loyal fan since "1987" do I agree with everything the Spurs do of course not but I'll ride with them to the end. I think I might be one of loyal fans on this site and I don't even live in San Antonio or Texas for that matter.
@ZILLA The reason people don't like Parker is because he seems to be one of the most inconsistent players I've seen. It's not just that he has good games and bad games, there are even trends within each game of him getting to the rim at will or easily nailing elbow jumpers and then it just magically disappears. I don't know if it's plays we are or are not running for him or if it's just a switch he throws off and on but Tony either surprises me with his consistency or disappoints me with his invisibility. Again this was shown in the Memphis series this year were Parker was seen as the Spurs' largest advantage against the Grizzlies and ended up looking terrible. However, you're wrong Zilla about only caring what he gives on the court. Spurs fans expect more of their players than just 100% on the court. They want above average people of character who show a dedication to the community. Cheating on your wife with your former teammates' wife is not a Spur quality and it draws embarrassment to this organization. The Spurs got rated #5 in ESPN's ultimate standings for franchises, and do you know why that is? Not because we were #1 for championship contention or "bang for the buck" but because Spurs fans rated their players #1 for likeability and involvement in the community. That's who George Hill was and that's who Parker can never be. We don't just care about Wins and Losses, but how we go about both carry ourselves both through our wins and losses.
@CraigThomas Craig, I get your point I see what your saying but at the end of the day no Spurs fan really knows any player on a personal level everybody makes mistakes so how can some people get upset at a guy you don't know.If Tony wasn't married to Eva we probably would have never heard of the cheating situation.As far as his game goes that's the game of basketball some nights your on some your off you just play through it Parker has done more good then bad for this team, hes had more good games then bad i just wonder when the Spurs where winning championships did people have this same attitude towards him .The reason the Spurs lost that series was lack of team defense no bigs in the middle to help Tim control the paint offensively and defensively and those role players/bench didn't show up and the Grizz just basically played better.As for me I'll ride or die with the Spurs.
I understand we can't "know" the players, but we would like them not to garner national headlines for scandals. He definitely has done more good than bad and I do think people under appreciate him because he does such amazing things with regularity. However, Parker to me is always supposed to be a large matchup problem (and our best exploit) against teams like the Lakers with an older PG or Memphis with a really young and inexperienced PG. We did lose to the Grizzles b/c of lack of team defense espescially at the center because DeJuan looked horrific, Bonner got abused, and McD was just a little too old. Tim could only do so much against Zach and Marc and Manu's injury really put much of the load on Parker who I thought was going to explode in the series. But there was that one game where he almost had 10 turnovers and he played horrible defense allowing rookie Grevis Vasquez to blow by him. That really was unacceptable and Hill played poorly too on both the defensive and offensive ends. I just think that Tony never really fit the mold of a Spur which is humble, selfless, and community oriented. As much as I really have mixed feelings about him, keeping him was definitely the right choice so we can have at least one more shot at #5.
And there's also the whole cheated on his wife with Brent Barry's wife thing...that kind of behavior is surely the opposite of what we think of when we think of our ideal Spur.
Come on Spurs Fans, while the big 3 is dwindling by the end of its rope did we actually want to actually start by trading away the youngest of the three with the most ahead of him? Even if Hill was the heir to the thrown the inconsistency of his play and his 3rd straight disappearing act in the playoffs was not smart choice to make for the future of this club.
WHY ALL THE HOSTILITY SPURS FANS INDEED!
I was a little disapointed by the hill trade last night at the 2011 NBA Draft, but then I did my research on the players we acuired last night.
Hilll/ Lenord- Lenord has the potential to become a great defender much superior to Hill. His athleticism overshadowes Hill's by a long shot. Overall a much better prospect to upgrade that position in size.
Corey Joseph- Spurs Managment seem to be really high on this kid, watching him much of his freshmen year at Texas seemed to really wanted him at the 29# pick. He seems to be a younger Hill in ways of his defense and ability to run the offense with poise.
Attention San Antonio the Euros have invaded and are not looking back!!
With the Trade of Hill the spurs picked up two great European players for the future of this franchise. Overall the decision of trading Hill ultimatley led to a bright future for the organization for years to come.
Erazem Lorbek- A big man with great footwork, awesome hook shot, and knows how to play big! Talk about a set of twin towers with him and Splitter in the future. Check out this highlight reel
Davis Bertans- Arguably the best shooter in this draft. At 6-10 and 18 yrs of age this kid reminds me of a oung Dirk player who knows how to get his shots and elivates with his length to shoot over players. He can shoot the three and finish at the rim. In a few years this kid is going to make a splash in San Antonio.
check out this highlight reel-
So Why all the Hostility Spurs Fans? The Package for Hill was the best move moving forward into the future.
Keeping Parker who has proven himself and in his prime was the best choice.
Keep 9,20, and 21 together as long as possible. We had two good point guards, traded one and grabbed younger athletes (maybe a defensive specialist). The Spurs need defense, size, and youth. Hill was a great defender, but small and played at a position where we have much better players. I still need to see the spurs add size before I'm satisfied.
There are a lot of reasons for this, starting with the 2003 Finals all the way through the demented notion that Tony doesn't pass to Manu because he doesn't like the man. I think the truth lies somewhere in the middle, and actually is the root for both ends of the example spectrum above: Tony doesn't pass enough.
He averages a little than five assists a game for his career, and for Spurs fans -- or really, any basketball fans -- who want to see their players subscribe to specific roles, they feel like the team will never be as good as it can be until all players one through five fit their Platonic ideal. Never mind that Tony is one of maybe four point guards who shoots over 50 percent, or that he's one of the top five finishers in the game, or that the Spurs offense is designed around his drive and kick game as much as Tim's post prowess.
Some Spurs fans can't see the forest for the trees, and it's a shame, because Tony's prime might fade soon. Speed is a premium for what he does, and that seems to fade faster than other qualities for most players. Yes, maybe he's the fourth or fifth best player in franchise history, but being that great is still pretty good when you play for the best (maybe third or fourth, if you go only by the numbers) basketball franchise in the history of the world.
Remember that Avery Johnson averaged just an assist higher than Parker, and Avery is an awful scorer. Assist was never an issue. If it was, Pop would have traded him years ago. Why wouldn't you allow Parker to score when just a handful of players can run as fast as him on transition.Losing Hill now would mean that Tony will be staying. Everbody has to accept that.
@Collin Smith nice comment, Collin!